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USDA Invests $891M in Rural Water, Wastewater

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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At the end of October, the Trump Administration announced that the United States Department of Agriculture would be investing $891 million in the modernization of rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

The grants are slated to improve rural water infrastructure for 787,000 rural residents and businesses across 43 states.

“Upgrading water infrastructure provides a path to economic growth and protects the health and safety of people who live and work in rural areas,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

About the Program

According to the USDA, the grant funding has been made available through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.

jonathanfilskov-photograpghy / Getty Images

At the end of October, the Trump Administration announced that the United States Department of Agriculture would be investing $891 million in the modernization of rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

Eligible applicants include rural areas and towns with populations of 10,000 or less, federally-recognized tribes and tribal lands in rural areas, colonias and private nonprofits. Applications for the available grants were accepted through the USDA.

According to the USDA, in April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to find ways to promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities.

The following year, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue presented the task force’s findings, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of rural-based opportunities. The task force also made a key recommendation, suggesting that investments be increased for rural infrastructure.

In May earlier this year, the USDA announced that $281 million in grants would be between 106 projects in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The funds were also provided through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

Awarded Projects

In this recent round of funding, the USDA has awarded 220 projects slated to improve rural water infrastructure. As part of the announcement, the following projects, among others, will be receiving grant funding to make improves, as well as expand economic opportunities and create jobs:

  • The city of Maquoketa, Iowa, is receiving a $6.2 million loan to replace water main lines in the Platt Street corridor. The water mains are old, undersized and corroding. This project will correct health and sanitary issues caused by frequent water main breaks. Additionally, the city will improve the storm water system and upgrade catch basins to better collect the runoff.
  • In Pennsylvania, the Authority of the Borough of Charleroi is receiving a $10.6 million loan and a $1.8 million grant to construct a pump station, install a diversion chamber, install 1,500 feet of 18-inch gravity sewer line, and construct a shared force main. In addition, a new influent box and sluice gate will be installed at the sewer treatment plant. The project is needed to comply with a Department of Environmental Protection consent order agreement that requires the authority to eliminate combined sewer overflows and implement a long-term CSO control plan.
  • The Town of Estes Park, Colorado, is being awarded a $7.7 million loan and a $2.4 million grant to improve and expand the Glacier Creek Water Treatment Plant. After the improvements are completed, the plant will be the sole source of water treatment year round, providing clean drinking water to 8,791 people in the Estes Valley. The improvements will also bring the plant back into compliance with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment drinking water disinfection requirements.

The state of Florida and U.S. Virgin Islands also reports it’ll be receiving over $9.1 million for rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects in the state. One project, Ocala East Villas Inc., will utilize funds to connect its wastewater system to the Marion County wastewater system. The project consists of a pump station, 1,600 linear feet of force main to connect to the county wastewater system, and other associated work. The wastewater system provides service to 486 customers.

Other states receiving funding include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

A full list of the awarded project can be viewed, here.


Tagged categories: Funding; Government; Grants; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; President Trump; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Upcoming projects; Water/Wastewater

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